Sunday, October 13, 2013

Air traffic controller learns he's not being paid from paycheck

OAKLAND, Calif. —

With the federal government shut down, air traffic controllers learned Friday that they'll be working without a paycheck until lawmakers start paying the bills again.

“We have a stressful job, this just adds to it,” said 26 year veteran air traffic controller Greg Colyer.

Colyer says after working an 80 hour pay period was stunned to see on his statement Friday that he had only been paid for 56 hours; right up until midnight October 1st.

He's worried what will happen if the shutdown stretches through the next pay period.

“In 2 weeks if congress doesn't pass a budget we're just going to get an I.O.U.” said Colyer

Coyler was one of many air traffic controllers who stressed their commitment to safety Saturday.

“We're dedicated professionals and we're going to go work every day and do our jobs like we're supposed to do. It's just this puts a little bit extra stress on us,” said Coyler.

Passengers flying Saturday were stunned to learn the air traffic controllers who guided their planes were working for free.

“If shutdowns are the way of the future, if the government can't make it work, then they need to think of certain classes of individuals that are exempt, and continue to get paid, and air traffic controllers being one of them,” said Justina Lee, who flew into Oakland from Orange County.

The air traffic controllers were informed that they would be paid when the shutdown is over, but Coyler said that they’re worried that some will not be able to cover their bills if the shutdown stretches too far.


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